Article written by Dr. Michelle Strydom MD
Psoriasis is a non-infectious chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It is characterized by a red rash that has well defined margins, with silvery-white scales. When these scales are scraped off, it reveals a series of small bleeding points. The elbows, knees, lower back, scalp, nails, skin folds under the breast and arm pits and the palms of the hands are commonly involved. The first appearance is often at the site of trauma such as a surgical wound. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which means that the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the tissue in the skin. Therefore you need to first read through the chapter on autoimmune diseases on page 200 which has essential background knowledge.
There are two different patterns of psoriasis: The first type develops in teenage or early adult years. In this case it is often genetically inherited. Up to 80% of psoriasis cases can have a genetically inherited component to them. If this applies to you, you also need to read through the chapter on genetically inherited diseases on page 153. The second type of psoriasis only develops when a person in 50 or 60 years old. This is less commonly genetically inherited.
As you read in the chapter about autoimmune diseases, when you attack yourself spiritually with thoughts of self-hatred and a low self-esteem, your brain eventually converts that into a physical reaction. The result is the body attacking and destroying its own body tissue, which in this case is the skin. The damage from the immune system causes inflammation which leads to the redness and swelling. The cells of the immune system also release chemicals that cause the cells in the skin to multiply more quickly; this is why the nails of people with psoriasis grow faster than normal people. Abnormal immature skin cells are formed because the multiplication process is abnormal. These abnormal skin cells are what forms the silvery scales. The life of the skin cells is also shortened from the normal 28 days to about 5 days.
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